As we continue Made to Run, our series through Acts, we’re finding out more and more what it means to live a life that’s transformed by Jesus. Once we’ve been changed by the power of the gospel and the Holy Spirit, we’re no longer made to just sit around—we’re made to run. The stories of the early Church in Acts are great examples of what it looks like when we’re living out our call to be people who run, not people who sit. One awesome example of how people live when they’re running is in Acts 3 when Peter and John extend wholeness and healing to a paralyzed man.

Read Acts 3.1–10.

Before we can truly see how powerful this passage is, we need to understand a little bit about Jewish tradition and what would have been “normal” for the people experiencing and witnessing this healing.

Read Leviticus 21.17–18.

This passage isn’t saying that God wouldn’t draw close to those who are disabled, and that He didn’t care for them and about the spiritual and physical well-being of every single one of His children. Instead, it points to the notion that, for the Jewish people, physical wholeness and spiritual wholeness were inextricably linked.

This connection between physical and spiritual healing is why the Jewish people looked forward to the prophecy in Isaiah 35.3–6, where God points to a time when He would bring healing and wholeness—both physically and spiritually—to earth. If we fast forward to Jesus’ time on earth with this background in mind, we see His commitment to physical healing in a completely new light. The people He was healing were living under Leviticus 21 and would immediately recognize the connection between spiritual and physical wholeness. By healing those who were paralyzed, Jesus was announcing in a very real way that the wholeness and healing they’d been waiting on had finally arrived.

This spiritual connection is still present in our story in Acts. The very first thing the man does when he gets up to walk is to go into the temple and begin praising God. He’s never been able to enter the temple before—never been allowed to worship with God’s children. After Peter and John heal him, he’s restored not only physically, but spiritually as well.

God’s restoring power is absolutely present and accessible to us in Jesus. Because of Him, we’re transformed into people who can run! He wants to come into the broken areas of our lives—our marriages, our tensions at work, our addictions, our need for physical healing—and bring wholeness and restoration to them.

Question: What area in your life are you longing for wholeness, healing, and restoration in? How can you hold to the promise that Jesus wants desperately to bring those things to your life?

Experiencing the wholeness and healing of God is not something that can be unlocked through following the right formula. There’s no equation of “if I do A and B, then God will do C.” But we can learn a little bit from the man in Acts about how we can make room in our lives for the Holy Spirit’s healing power.

1. The man knows his need for help.

He has been dependent on others his whole life—he had to be brought to the temple gate to make his living. In much the same way, we can never experience the wholeness of God if we don’t recognize our dependence on Him.

2. The man was willing to boldly place his faith in Jesus.

Think about it: this man had never walked before. And in the middle of a huge crowd of people, a man he’s never met before tells him to get up and walk in Jesus’ name. And he does it! This takes a huge amount of faith. So often, we are willing to pray in bold faith for healing, reconciliation, and wholeness, and we believe that Jesus can bring those things. But it takes even more faith to act on what Jesus calls us to do in response to that. It takes faith to forgive those who’ve hurt us, but that could be what Jesus calls us to do when we pray boldly for reconciliation and healing.

Again, there’s no formula for experiencing God’s healing. But, if we’re convinced that only God can bring wholeness to our lives and if we’re willing to have bold, risky faith in Jesus, God will do amazing things in our hearts and lives.

But this story isn’t only about the man who was healed; it’s about the people who healed him. Jesus didn’t heal this man in person, He used Peter and John to bring healing and wholeness. This means that God didn’t just come to bring wholeness to us, He came to bring wholeness through us. In other words, part of being made to run is helping other people run.

Question: Who can you think of in your life that needs to experience wholeness in some way? How have you come alongside them to show Jesus’ love and extend His healing toward them?

There are three things we can learn from Peter and John about how we can go about bringing restoration and wholeness to those around us.

1. Peter and John were interruptible.

When they saw the man sitting outside of the temple gate, they didn’t just walk past him. They didn’t continue on their way straight into the temple to pray. They allowed themselves to be interrupted and they stopped.

Question: Are you interruptible? What are some ways that you can create margin in your life so that you can have the time to have conversations with those who are hurting?

2. Peter and John were relational.

Peter and John made it a point to make eye contact with the man, and then later they made physical contact with him by reaching for his hand. They intentionally sought a relationship with this man, and made it clear that he wasn’t just a “project” or a cause. Instead, they insisted on the dignity of relationship.

3. Peter and John were spiritually direct.

In verse 6, Peter tells the man to walk “in the name of Jesus.” Later, in verse 16, Peter says that he was healed by faith “in the name of Jesus.” There’s a lot of people that say they share Jesus with their actions and attitudes. This is great—and our actions and attitudes should reflect how we’ve been changed by God—but Peter makes the point here that for someone to experience the wholeness and healing of Jesus, they need to be introduced to Him by name.

There’s one last thing we can learn from this story about what it means for us to bring wholeness to others. After Peter and John heal the man, Peter goes on to teach the crowds and call them to turn to God so they can begin experiencing wholeness and restoration in their own lives. And then he ends with a call to action.

Read Acts 3.25.

Peter calls the crowd to bless not just those immediately around them, but to bless all people around the globe. The purpose of our wholeness in God is so that we can go out and make the world whole. This is what the Engedi community is all about, whether it’s through campusing, church planting, or sending people across the globe to places where people have never heard the name of Jesus.

Question: How might God be calling you to bring wholeness to the whole world? Maybe it’s participating in Tread, attending Unfinished, or simply learning more about Engedi’s heart for local or global missions. What is a practical next step for you to take in the coming weeks?